Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dynasty ES Hardware

The young boys placed 2nd in the Bird's Nest Cup matching the finish
of the older team.

A weekend of 7 games in 2 days is in the books. Fire up the grill for
Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Hidden Ball Trick

In the shadow of one of China's National treasures, the Dynasty Prep team hoisted the second place trophy after a triple-header Saturday in the Bird's Nest Cup. Winning the final game in dramatic fashion, a walk off wild pitch, the boys were greeted by Coach Wang and the trophy as we headed toward the parking deck. He handed me the the trophy and extended his other hand to shake. "Jegga, shir shemna?" I uttered, and he read the face of the trophy and said, "something, something Di Er Ga, something, something."
Di er ga - second place - not to bad, I thought.
I assumed that Japan finished first since they had beaten us 11-8 in the second game of the day, but just for giggles I called for a friend to help me interpret. "Japan finished third, he said."
"What, who was fir-"
I was interrupted by Coach Wang's hefty laugh as he pointed in the direction of the field toward the team we had just beaten.
No worries though, our kids had a blast and played like champions!
Some things I learned today about baseball in China.
1. During a mid inning pitching change, the catcher throws down to second; this caught me off guard and made me want to show everybody in the park a game on TV. There is very little baseball to watch here.
2. They use a "ball" that is a small rubber version of a baseball. We argue for the use of a real baseball at every contest, but never win.
3. If you speak Chinese, check that, if you are Chinese, you have much greater influence over the umpires. The opposing coach told the umpire that our starting pitcher had thrown too much today. Despite throwing only three low-impact innings, the site director agreed with him and we were forced to make the change. We laughed it off and went to our next guy who relinquished the lead of course. In a not-so-surprising turn of events, their best player trotted out to throw the bottom of the last - his fourth inning of the game.
4. The hidden ball trick, perfectly executed after a pain-inducing wild pitch to relinquish the lead, makes all other dongxi of the day seem insignificant. We were reeling from the pitching change fiasco and the ensuing offering up of the tying and go ahead runs when Theo, our savvy third baseman, trotted over to the mound to deliver a word of confidence and seemingly the ball. As he ran back to third I looked at our coaches and said, "oh my god he did it."
Theo pretended to stretch and as the runner turned to his dugout to clap up the pressure on our pitcher, he strayed a step or two off the bag, and Theo, taking one or two hop-steps, pulled the ball from his glove, touched the unsuspecting runner on the shoulder and showed the ball to the umpire. Jubilation!
Back at it today where Parker and Devon and the Dynasty Youth team play for some hardware of their own!
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sports Medley, The "Ship" and Ticket's Home

Well, quite a week it's been.
I have spent the last few weeks subbing just about everyday in the Middle School at ISB. Spending the day in a 7th grade Humanities class last week made me really miss my own classroom, but Monday did provide a bit of satisfaction as I was named varsity baseball coach for the ISB Dragons' upcoming season. We initiated off-season training right away and should be installing our bunt D and 1st and 3rd D this week - feels right!
Last Thursday and Friday were the MS and UES Track and Field days and I was hired to help facilitate both of those events. I got to watch Parker and Devon compete in various running and throwing events, and this Friday Bennett and the rest of the Lower Elementary School take there shot at it - I am on for that one as well.

The sunburn I acquired at the track meets was aggravated by another day outside on Saturday(and Sunday for that matter). Our normal Saturday at the baseball field was postponed to make way for the zip lines at the ISB Spring Fair. The Spring Fair was great, candy, games, water guns, friends, but the rousing response, and one I have not really ever prepared myself for, was "soccer" when Joanne asked the boys what their favorite part of the fair was. Parker and Devon played in the first organized soccer matches of their lives and both did great. In fact, I ran out of explanations when the, "so, how long have your boys been playing futbol..." questions turned to, "...why not, they absolute naturals..."
"Eh, because I am baseball coach," was the best I could come up with.

Devon and the Yellow team - Madrid - won "the ship".

Sunday, after coffee in bed, we took mommy to the baseball field for a full day of cheering her sonny's on. Unlike our normal Saturday schedule, in which Bennett and I go to the recreational T-Ball practice, then coach the recreational Little League, followed up with the 11 and Under and 12 and over Dynasty team practices concluding at about 6:00, today was the first day of league games for the inaugural season of the Beijing Baseball League. This is the league that helped organize with Coach Wang. Coach Wang brought three teams over to ISB and Devon and Parks' team swept a double header while our older teams brought home the win as well.

Looks like more of the same this week with PE jobs Mon, Wed, Thurs and Fri, Chinese class Tues and all kind of baseball practices Tuesday, Thursday nights and all day Saturday.
Highlight of the week though is that we booked our tickets for home leave this summer. See ya on or around June 25th!
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Mother's Day at the Ball Yard